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Welcome to the team

We welcome our new Group Operations Director

Long Rake Spar welcome to the team Peter O’Nyons. We are delighted to announce he will be joining as the new Group Operations Director. This new role will include overseeing the operation of our brands, including Grantex, Natural Selection and Meadow View Stone.

Peter has over 30 years’ experience in the aggregate industry and holds a Diploma in Quarry Management

"Peter will oversee the operational aspects of the company across all of our production sites. Alongside this he will also be responsible for setting strategic goals for the flow of operations to achieve productivity in line with our current volumes and future sales forecasts. Peter will also be tasked with aiding projected growth volumes across the group"

Trevor Broadhurst, Managing Director

After 30 years working for Tarmac, I was ready for a new challenge. I wanted to work for a smaller company who had a vision for sustainable growth in a different industry to Quarrying & Construction, of which I was used to.

The role of Operations Director at Long Rake Spar is an exciting proposition and one that I was keen to take on. Using my previous experience, I have started this role with the objective of developing a safety-first culture. Along side this I want to increase profitability of the business. In order to achieve this I aim to implement the foundations of operational excellence"

Peter O'Nyons, Group Operations Director
welcome to the team operations

Long Rake Spar NMBS Race Track Winners

We presented the winners of the NMBS race track competition with their Amazon gift vouchers

Following on from a successful NMBS exhibition, we presented the Long Rake Spar Race NMBS Race Track Prize winners with their Amazon vouchers. Our account managers visited; Burnley Plumbing, Bradford’s Building Supplies and Alter Landscapes to shake hands with our worthy winners. 

We created a new concept for the 2021 stand; ‘The Long Rake Spar Scalextric Race Track’. Our customers were invited to do 2 laps on the race track whilst being timed. Those ranking in 1st, 2nd and 3rd place from over the 2 days the show was held won the 3 prizes up for grabs.

It quickly became apparent a lot of our customers were a bit rusty from from their childhood days, with the ‘Black Ice Bend‘ proving a difficult corner in the track. Saying this, our winners were worthy with their impressive times almost 4 or 5 seconds in front of the majority!

the skeletrics track

1st Place

2nd Place

3rd Place

Amir from Burnley Plumbing came in first place with an impressive 13.3 second lap time. 

Below is our commercial Director Ben Summerhill with Account Manager Cate Kennewell presenting their prize.

Bryn from Bradfords Building Supplies came in second, slightly behind with a time of 14.2 seconds

Below is our South East Account Manager Rachel Aiers presenting the prize to Bryn. 

Alan at Alter Landscapes was just pipped to the post by Bryn. Alan scored 14.3 seconds 

Below is Mike MacRae, our Account Manager for Scotland and Northern England shaking hands with Alan.

Long Rake Spar presenting NMBS prize winners
Long Rake Spar NMBS prize winners
Another NMBS winner presenter with their prize

Back in the fast lane at the NMBS Exhibition

The Long Rake Team stood in front of the exhibition stand.

As a result of Covid the past year and a half has been a struggle to say the least. We were unable to provide the customer service and support we pride ourselves on. Our account managers who are usually racing around the country visiting our customers and helping with marketing support set up were banished to their kitchen table.

Long Rake Spar freebies including a cup, water bottle, face mask and thermal mug.
Over 150 aggregate stands and 500 Point of sale boards set up in builders merchants..

We are over the moon to be back out there and have certainly made up for lost time. Our account managers and marketing department have set up over 150 aggregate stands and 500 point of sale boards in branches. We also delivered brand new product guides for the trade counter and a completely revamped glossy brochure.

Our logo was modernised and stamped this across hessian bags, T bags, Mint tins, mugs and more!

The new concept for 2021..

We created a new concept for the 2021 stand; ‘The Long Rake Spar Skeletrics Race Track’.  This included prizes of up to £150 to be won for the fastest lap times. We aimed to re – connect with all our customers that Covid may have distanced us from and have some fun while we are at it! It was a highly successful show with hundreds of new leads gained by our friendly account managers on the stand. The show was a great opportunity to showcase our brand new ‘Tuscan Sunrise’. This is part of our platinum collection which proved a massive hit. A big win overall for Long Rake Spar

Theres no replacement for face to face networking and sales..

We highly recommend getting back into face-to-face networking and sales. As the saying goes ‘sell yourself before the product’ and this is a great opportunity to do so! NMBS provided a safe environment to accommodate crowds during a time where Covid is still lingering in the background. The event was spread out over 2 days rather than one to allow more Members and Suppliers time to attend the event safely. The event did not feel overwhelming and a safe distance between one another was still respected. 

Get yourself back out there! 

New Grantex Branded Bags

New Grantex bags

We are very excited to announce the launch of our new Grantex branded bags.

The bags have been designed with customer needs in mind, with our bags having clear windows, allowing you to clearly see the aggregate inside.

The product labelling on the side of bags is large. It is very clear what is in the bag, for easy identification on site or in your warehouse.

Our new Grantex branded bags are fully recyclable and contain 30% recycled content. This saves natural resources and reduces the amount of plastic going to landfill. Less waste also helps to protect our waterways and oceans!

This change has been welcomed by our customers who feel that the branding is a reflection of the quality of our product. The new bags increase the perceived brand value – important when you have bags on site. Impress and delight your customers, with your high quality of workmanship and the quality of the materials you use.

Long Rake Looks To Its Customers For Feedback

Customer service should be the driving force behind any business. So it was with this in mind we recently sent out a customer satisfaction survey to gain valuable feedback on how we could improve the customer experience.

As the UK’s leading supplier of specialised decorative aggregates, Long Rake have been supplying decorative stone into merchants for over 150 years. To maintain our leading position in the market, we feel it is imperative to seek customer feedback on ways in which our service levels can be improved.

Sales Director Chris Bourne explained why the survey was carried out, saying “We want our customers to receive the very best value for money and experience growth in the landscaping sector. It is vital that we know what our customers need from us and how they feel our relationship could be improved.”

With the offer to win a £100 high street voucher for completion, the survey received a strong response and our valued customer Erinstone Ltd received the prize.

Our Sales manager Tim Cleverley presented Charly from Erinstone with the One4All gift card. He told us he was torn between taking his wife out for a meal or ordering sound cancelling headphones!

We were delighted to receive over 90% Customer Satisfaction but are committed to continually improving processes with the aim to achieve a near 100% satisfaction result in the future.

Long Rake Spar Donates Pebbles To Commemorate Lost Lifeboat Crew

rye pebble memorial

On a very wet and windy Saturday 2nd November, a memorial service was held in honour of the crew of the Rye Harbour lifeboat – the Mary Stanford.

On 15th November 1928 the seventeen crew members of the Mary Stanford gave their lives trying to save the stricken ship the SS Alice from Riga from trouble during a gale. This tragedy killed nearly all the male fishermen of Rye Village at the time and took more than one man from many families, including 17 & 19 year old brothers and their father from the Head family.

The project to create the memorial to honour the lost lives took eleven months to complete and was born from an idea by KT Bruce- the lifeboat press officer.

There was a huge community effort to create the memorial. Long Rake Spar donated Scottish Cobbles, which were to be painted for the memorial. Geri Cottingham, a local artist, painstakingly painted the seventeen stunning portraits of the gallant crew that form the centrepiece of the memorial. John Mills, a craftsman from the village painted the letters spelling out ‘Mary Stanford’. That, plus some thirty workshops later including Brownies, Guides, Cubs, the museum in Rye, the crew at the lifeboat station, villagers and local schoolchildren, the nine hundred pebbles were ready to be cemented into concrete.

Other local firms provided money to help the project to flourish including Rastrum Wharf, Atlas Business Park, Martello Developments, Baxall, Inwood, Stamco, Boots the Chemist, Craft Magic, Rye Conservation Society, Craft Club, Care Signs, Adams of Rye and Trade Paints.

Ian Leroy-Lewis, a local plasterer and bricklayer, spent many hours creating the concrete block raised bed. The weather decided to be as awkward as possible during the construction of the memorial with October in the harbour being the wettest month of the year. However, everyone soldiered on until it was completed.

The memorial service began with KT explaining the project in full. This was followed by Mark Dowie, CEO RNLI, dedicating the memorial. It was very emotional as he read out the seventeen names of the crew who lost their lives. Martin Bruce, Rye Harbour chairman, had written a shanty telling the Mary Stanford story to honour the crew. His group, the Round Rye Bay singers then performed it for the first time. It was haunting, with many listeners moved to tears. Our own Depot Manager at Rye, David Locke attended the memorial service.

KT Bruce summed it all up: “Eleven months of hard work and planning bore fruit today as the memorial was dedicated. I would like to thank my husband Martin for his support and coping with moving, washing and storing nine hundred pebbles in our home. I have had such fun and met some wonderful people on this journey. The comments from those who have seen it have been heart-warming and it is wonderful to think that this is now a permanent fixture in our village to pay tribute to the crew of the Mary Stanford.”

For anyone interested, donations to support the amazing work that RNLI do can be made HERE.

Long Rake Spar Supports World Record Attempt

This July, Long Rake Spar are proud to be supporting Richard Thoday as he attempts to break the Guinness World Record for the shortest time between Lands’ End to John O’Groats on a Penny Farthing. Along the way Richard will be raising money for Children In Need.

The record was originally set by G P Mills in 1886, when the 19 year old rode across the country on pre-tarmac roads, riding a 53 inch iron-rimmed, solid-tyred Humber Penny Farthing. Whilst the roads that Richard is travelling along will be a lot smoother than the rutted tracks and cobble sets that Mills faced in 1886, he’s still got a huge challenge ahead.

Richard will have to avoid motorways; battle against holiday and commuter traffic whilst riding alongside high speed vehicles to beat the record of 5 days, one hour and 45 minutes. He’ll be backed by a passionate support crew who will be driving the route to supply motorhome accommodation, spare parts, food and medical supplies.

The route that Richard is riding from Lands’ End to John o’Groats is 840 miles long. Each day he’ll be tackling over 170 miles and the attempt will be tracked so supporters and sponsors will be able to see Richard’s progress throughout the ride.

The team at 4 Season Collective, who are the media partners for Richard’s record attempt, will also be posting updates along the route as well as creating a documentary of the highs and lows of the journey including the endurance training that Richard’s completed.

As an experienced long distance cyclist, who has ridden in 24hr road cycling events, Richard will face long stints in the saddle and his training has taken him far and wide already. He is regularly seen cycling the Penny Farthing around the countryside that surrounds the Long Rake Spar works.

Long Rake’s Managing Director, Trevor Broadhurst, said: “We’re delighted to be supporting Richard in his attempt. It’s important for us to be able to help our community so when we heard that a local teacher was attempting such a heroic journey we definitely wanted to be involved. There are some very keen cyclists amongst our team and many of our colleagues have children who know Richard from his work as a teacher at Highfields Secondary School.”

Long Rake Spar was founded in 1867, just 20 years before the original record was set and the last 150 years have seen a lot of change in the local area but the community remains at the heart of the business.

Along the 840 mile route Richard will be raising funds for Children in Need and is supported by a collection of sponsors, family & friends and the local community, who are all behind him! You can find a link to Richard’s fundraising page here.

Trio of Surfacing Solutions: New for 2019

For 2019 we are delighted to introduce three stunning new products into our decorative range.

These products were chosen to tie into current market trends which have seen sales in grey landscapingstone outsell the traditional tones of gold and buff. The three new products are Graphite Chippings 14mm as well as Heritage Quartz gravel and Ocean Blue pebbles; both available in 10mm, 14, and 20mm sizes.

Our Graphite Chippings are stunning granite chippings with flecks of blue/grey tones, which deepen when the product is wet. This hard-wearing gravel will provide a contemporary feel to any landscape design and works well with pale coloured pebbles and cobbles such as Duck Egg Cobbles.

The Heritage Quartz is an angular gravel which features undertones of grey overlaid with blends of pink and orange. Due to its mixed colour pallet this product works fantastically in both traditional and modern settings. It works wonderfully as an alternative to limestone, with its hard-wearing qualities giving it a longer lifespan.

Finally, our Ocean Blue Pebbles are a rounded stone with blue/grey colour tones. This limestone product is naturally sea worn and has been a popular addition to our landscaping range, complementing grey and neutral paving and large feature stones like longstone rockery. These pebbles are a light blue/grey when dry and turn a deep blue when wet.

For more information or samples of our products please give our team a call on 01629 636210.

Long Rake Spar’s Quality Commitment

ISO 9001

Decorative aggregate supplier Long Rake Spar put quality management at the heart of their customer service commitment with their recent ISO 9001:2015 accreditation.

The ISO 9001:2015 certification is for the wholesale of decorative aggregates and encompasses all three product ranges, Natural Selection, Grantex and Sight GRIP.

This quality management system ensures consistency of both our products and service levels and displays our commitment to achieving the highest levels of customer service.

We are continually striving to improve to ensure our customers receive the very best service from us. Therefore, we were delighted to achieve the ISO 9001:2015 as this demonstrates our ability to consistently provide products and services that meet the highest customer and regulatory requirements.

Etwall Well Dressing

At Long Rake Spar we pride ourselves on supporting local community events whenever possible.

Last year we donated some of our Golden Quartz to the Etwall village well dressing in May and have agreed to support them again this year by providing the same product.

The well dressing was started 49 years ago by the Primary school PTA who were raising funds for their swimming pool and they will be celebrating 50 years next year! There are several wells in the village and each well has a different theme chosen by their organisers. All the organisers have different techniques using natural materials to produce a picture.

We are always interested to hear of unique ways in which our products are used and pleased to learn that our natural stone chippings are being used in such a creative way!

The whole event involves the village in various ways; the pubs often have craft beers and music, the churches turn into cafes and flower displays, and there are craft fairs and entertainment.

The event is run by the EWDA who are a non-profit charity that organises village events. The main event is in May where they produce well dressing around the village. All the money raised is then given back to local and regional charities that have been successful in their application to them.

We have been supplied with a few pictures of previous year’s well dressings featuring our products and look forward to seeing this year’s offering!